Cora Best, Ph.D., M.H.S., R.D.N.
Office: FSHN 449
Office: FSHN 449
Dr. Best is a nutrition scientist and dietitian who is formally trained in clinical nutrition, public health, and laboratory techniques for human nutrition research. She earned a master’s degree from the human nutrition program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a doctorate in nutrition from Cornell University. She completed her dietetic internship at Cornell University and the University of Rochester Medical Center. Her postdoctoral training was with the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and the Kidney Research Institute at the University of Washington.
Best Lab focuses on renal nutrition and nutritional influences on musculoskeletal health. Dr. Best has expertise in human nutrition research methods ranging from epidemiology and clinical research to laboratory techniques in clinical chemistry and mass spectrometry. For several years, Dr. Best has been studying vitamin D disposition (i.e., vitamin D absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) in humans. This work includes kinetic studies of stable isotope-labeled vitamin D compounds in individuals with altered vitamin D metabolism (such as during pregnancy and chronic kidney disease). Ongoing work includes studies of clinical and genetic factors that influence the response to vitamin D supplementation in a large clinical trial nested in a nationwide cohort.
Proteins and Amino Acids in Human Nutrition
Best Lab’s focus is nutrition for (1) kidney disease and (2) musculoskeletal health, with special emphasis on vitamin D and mineral metabolism. The lab is developing studies to test the metabolic effects and efficacy of therapeutic diets and other nutrition interventions for kidney disease patients and healthy aging. Best Lab members conduct human subjects research. In the wet lab, they employ chemistry techniques for the study of nutritional biomarkers and metabolism in humans. Graduate student trainees will also develop competencies in clinical research coordination and quantitative data analysis, and they may contribute to evidence synthesis including systematic reviews. Best Lab welcomes collaborations and is interested in contributing to multidisciplinary research to elevate nutrition in the care of patients at UF Health and beyond.
Best Lab is recruiting graduate students who will begin the Ph.D. program in Nutritional Sciences in August 2023. Please contact Dr. Best if you would like to apply by the priority deadline of January 15, 2023.